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Tuesday, July 25, 2017


The April 2017 Addendum on the Judicial Branch Family Court Initiatives reported that the CT Judicial Branch would establish a Standing Committee on Guardians Ad Litem and Attorneys for the Minor Child in Family Matters. The Committee is the result of a change to the Connecticut Practice Book dated June 24, 2016 listed under Sec. 25-61A.  For the exact wording of this section of The CT Practice Book, please see the link below: 

Recently, I was taking a look at the CT Judicial Branch Website and found out that the Committee has now been established.  Its first meeting was held on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 95 Washington Street.  According to the information provided on the CT Judicial Branch Website, the purpose of this Committee is as follows:

"to approve the curriculum for the training required for guardians ad litem and attorneys for the minor child, establish and administer a process by which an individual may be removed from the list of those deemed eligible for appointment as a guardian ad litem or attorney for the minor child, annually review and approve a list of individuals deemed eligible for appointment as a guardian ad litem or attorney for the minor child, and adopt procedures to carry out its functions."

One recommendation I'd like to make right up front today is that I'd suggest taking Attorney Bradford Barneys off the list.  The time for that corrective action regarding Attorney Barneys is far overdue as far as I'm concerned.  For more information on this attorney and his reprehensible involvement in the Stvan v. Stvan divorce case, please see the link below:

I hope that with the passage of time as this Committee gets its bearings that it is more preemptive and efficient at getting rid of the rotten apples.  

Currently, the Committee Members listed are as follows:

Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto, Chairperson
Chief Administrative Judge for Family Matters
Hartford Judicial District

Attorney Christine Perra Rapillo
Director of Delinquency Defense and Child Protection
Office of Public Defender Services

Liza Andrews, MSW
Director of Public Policy and Communications
Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Wendy Frunis, Branch Chief
Health Care Quality and Safety Branch
Department of Public Health

Attorney Danielle S. Rado

Judge Edward Graziani, Administrative Judge
Windham Judicial District

Attorney Michael Cronin
Senate Republican Office, LOB

Samuel S. Gray, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford

Attorney Justine Rakich-Kelly, Executive Director
The Children's Law Center

I am concerned, and others have pointed out since this article was posted, that Attorney Justine Rakich-Kelly was central as GAL in perpetrating one of the most egregious custody switching cases that occurred here in the State of Connecticut recently.  In this case, the father was actually so unable to cope with the children that he returned the children to their mother.  Overall, The Children's Law Center includes contributors from some of the most corrupt law firms in the State of Connecticut.  These are firms that have played a major role in the corruption of the Family Court System and the harm and damage that has been done to parents and children as a result.  I can state quite confidently that the presence of  Attorney Justine Rakich-Kelly and The Children's Law Center on this Standing Committee greatly undermines the credibility of this Committee.

For those who are interested, the next meeting of this Committee will be Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in the Attorney Conference Room at 231 Capitol Avenue in Hartford.  The meeting after that will take place on October 4, 2017.  

Apparently, according to the Addendum to the Initiatives report, from 2014 to 2016, the number of eligible GALs and AMCs has been reduced from 1200 to 400, which is a reduction of 67%.  I think this is an excellent development because clearly many of these people who were removed were marginally qualified.  

What bothers me, however, is that despite these drastic reductions there remain two poorly qualified individuals on the list, i.e. Joan Kloth-Zanard and Jennifer Verraneault, neither of whom have a graduate level legal degree, mental health professional degree or a divinity degree, at least one of which would be required for work as a GAL or AMC.  

I find it puzzling that these two individuals remain on the list even though they lack the qualifications for being there.  Both of them are zealous adherents of Dr. Richard Gardiner's theory of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) a fraudulent concept which is widely used in CT Family Court to hand children who have been abused over to their abusers.  It is also used to completely cut off all access these children have to their protective parents.  On this website, I have documented case after case where this kind of injustice has occurred.  

Meanwhile, experts in domestic violence have been removed from the current GAL/AMC list, and I am aware that the CT Judicial Branch specifically refused permission to certain well known advocates of battered mothers the opportunity to attend the course at all.  

I'm not sure why the current Standing Committee on GALs and AMCs would consider it acceptable to begin their tenure on this Committee by promoting the interests of people who support quack theories which place battered mothers at risk.  

This is the problem with the CT Judicial Branch overall--that it displays lip service to the issue of domestic violence while pampering and cosseting fools who promote parental alienation syndrome and refusing to take the proper steps to protect victims of domestic violence in real life situations, such as with Baby Aaden.  

From what I understand the Standing Committee will be working on establishing a procedure for removing persons from the list of those eligible to serve.  They might want to start by removing these two purely on the basis of a lack of even the most fundamental qualifications combined with a belief in air headed theories which could cause serious damage to children when put into practice.

The Standing Committee also has a training subcommittee which has the charge of discussing the curriculum for the training required for GALs and AMCs. Members of this subcommittee include as follows: Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto, Liza Andrews, Justine Rakich-Kelly and Christine Perra Rapillo. Of interest is the recommendation that the training be cut from 40 hours to 20 hours.  The Committee also recommended that the content of the curriculum should include learning how to work with parents who are disabled.  Let's hope this bodes well for a future where the CT Judicial Branch begins to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and refrains from discriminating against people who have mental health disabilities as it has thus far.  

For more information on this new Standing Committee, please click on the following link:

And for information on the new Subcommittee, please click on the following link:  


  1. Same old cast of characters putting window dressing on the racketeering scam. How can the state buy twenty hours of GAL services for $500 when parents have to pay $6,000 for the exact same service? Scam?

  2. If the CT Judicial Branch uses PAS to take children from protective mothers, aren't the advocates like Joan Kloth-Zanard and Jennifer Verraneault simply tools of the legal system? Just saying...

  3. A standing committee is encouraging, but to some it just looks like window dressing. I think we are all looking to see that this committee actually does its job. So far, it doesn't look as though it has done that much.

    1. This committee will indeed do its job. Traffick kids, steal money, provide judicial kickbacks.....why do you think they made the committee? To protect kids and parents? These are the monsters of society.

  4. I agree that if there isn't a change of heart and a sincere attempt to make sure GALs and AMCs act in an ethical and professional manner, this Standing Committee will simply be another standing joke! What is heartbreaking about the corruption of GALs and AMCs is that they work so directly with children, and to think that children are being exploited in this crass and exploitative fashion is really heartbreaking.